Score: 105-86 Jazz
Bobcats Record: 19-29
Meritorious Player: Not today.
Bad offense led to horrific defense led to a third straight double digit defeat. 23 turnovers for Charlotte – on just 87 possessions. About 1/4th of the Bobcats possessions ended without a shot…and a good chunk of those led to Utah heading the other way for a layup. Bad offense -> bad defense.
Leading the turnover parade? Boris Diaw with 8. Yes, he had nearly as many turnovers as shot attempts (8 to 9). 3 of his turnovers were offensive fouls, one a moving pick, and the other two (I believe) were charges. Boris was forcing things a bit, driving into traffic and forcing passes. Which leads me to this question: Do the Bobcats really want to play him at small forward? They have not done it much so far, but with Gerald out, his time there is increasing rapidly. Bonnell had even reported that Boris was likely to start at the 3 last night, with Juwan Howard taking the 4 – and while that was not the Cats starting lineup, it was a lineup they used – but to ill-effect.
In 60 minutes at the 3 over the last few games, Boris has struggled: He is averaging fewer than 10 points per 40 minutes at the position and not even grabbing 2 rebounds per the same time frame (the number is 1.96). Not a great rebounder to start with, moving him further away from the rim seems to have diminished his already light appetite for board work. Worse yet, his defense at the 3 is lacking, to say the least. Opponents are averaging 18.3 points/40 against Boris at the 3, on a 62% true shooting percentage. Those numbers at the 4: 14.8 and 54%. The impact on the team is telling: With Boris at the 3, Charlotte has an offensive efficiency of 99.9 and a defensive mark of 121.3. At the 4 (and again, since Gerald went out), 95.3 and 106.0. Still awful – but way better.
I am not saying all the blame goes to Boris – but the Bobcats may want to consider other options than moving him down to the 3. The early returns are not good. The alternatives? Adam Morrison continued his invisible man act last night, with 4 points on 3 attempts, 1 rebound, and 1 turnover in 21 and a half minutes. More aggression, Adam. Cartier Martin: 3 points (2 attempts, both 3s), 1 rebound in 8 minutes. Ok, maybe 6 of one, half dozen of another (which is worse 8 turnovers, or being statistically invisible?).